Northern Compliance has withdrawn its appeal against the Environment Agency’s (EA) decision to take the scheme off the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) scheme approved list after it missed its 2017 obligations.
This means Northern Compliance not will operate as a WEEE compliance scheme for 2019, effective from 22 January.
The company was originally granted EA approval in 2007. In October 2018, the agency issued a notice to withdraw scheme approval on the basis it had “failed to finance the full costs of collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal” for more than 2,200 tonnes of household WEEE.
The notice gave the company two months to appeal, which it did on 14 December 2018.
But the appeal was withdrawn on 22 January. The EA said: “Northern Compliance has voluntarily chosen to withdraw its WEEE scheme approval for 2019; it is currently an approved scheme for 2018.”
Northern Compliance is also undertaking a legal challenge against the Government about the 2017 compliance scheme mechanism and changes made to WEEE regulations in 2018 – including to the producer balancing scheme (PBS).
The company argued it should be allowed time to pursue its challenge without facing enforcement action.
Director Vincent Eckerman said: “We respectfully acknowledge the EA’s findings, however we disagree with them and are of the opinion that Northern Compliance did not in fact break any of Defra’s WEEE Regulations in 2017.
“Defra’s policy to introduce a retrospective and disproportionate PBS uplift for those businesses choosing not to join what was described as a ‘voluntary’ scheme, coupled with the introduction of an unfair compliance management fee mechanism, had a catastrophic effect on our business.
“We want to put it on the record that in 2018 all Northern Compliance’s former members, bar one exception, funded their obligations and Northern Compliance has met those obligations in full, commensurate with the funding provided.
“Northern Compliance believes in a recycling system that is fair and, importantly, operates in a market that is competitive.
“In a world where waste management is a vital environmental concern, it is important that the business of recycling remains competitive. Anti-competitive behaviour does not just affect business alone, but ultimately creates less options for consumers to dispose of their recyclable goods properly.”